Alan Dershowitz’s Lament:

bulgerReaders of Thursday’s Wall Street Journal saw that it gave up one-third of its op-ed page to Alan Dershowitz’s complaint. The headline to his column is: “A Nightmare of False Accusation That Could Happen to You.” If it did happen to any of us you can be sure we’d not be given the space accorded to Dershowitz to spell out his lament.

He tells us he woke up on the day before New Year’s Eve to find it was asserted in a legal filing by two lawyers that he had sex with an underage female 15 years ago. He notes the girl is referred to as Jane Doe #3 but he does mention she is 31-years-ol. She has been publicly identified in many papers as accusing not only Dershowitz but also Prince Andrew. Prince Andrew has also denied her charges. It seems however that she kept a diary and excerpts from it as far as her involvement with the prince have been published.

Dershowitz’s complaint is he can’t file a denial in a law suit because he is not a party to the suit; that the lawyers who filed the charges don’t have to prove them in court and they will just remain as allegations; and that he can’t sue the lawyers for defamation because the charges were part of a court filing. Then he goes on to complain the filing was leaked to the media which he never complained about before when other obscure allegations were leaked.

He tells us how he went public making denials and counteraccusations, the latter he doesn’t spell out, and finds he is now being sued for defamation by the lawyers. This latter event may give him the chance to litigate the matter in court and flesh out the circumstances behind the allegation.

Dershowitz calls this a”Kafkaeaque world of American justice” and tells us he “will not rest until this gaping hole is filled with reasonable safeguards so that what is happening to me can never happen to another innocent person.”  Oh, by the way he started off the article writing that he has been a Harvard Law School professor for 50 years. During all that time this “gaping hole” existed and it never bothered Dershowitz until he happened to be pushed into it.

Not only didn’t it bother him, he took full advantage of it. He gleefully pushed public figures who are pretty much protected from being sued into the same hole.

Those familiar with this blog will recall the attacks Dershowitz made on the reputation of Billy Bulger. They may also recall what Billy called him in his book While the Music Lasts repeating what he said before the Governor’s Executive Counsel in 1990 when he confronted him and another attorney as: “ . . . murderers, murderers of reputations.”

Billy Bulger as a public figure has little chance of success in suing anyone for what is said about him. He pretty much has the same problem as Dershowitz is having in suing the young lady who accuses him of sexually abusing her. But here are some of the things Dershowitz has said about him over the years:

 “The fact that Bulger can’t be prosecuted, as a matter of law, because of his immunity, does not mean he is not, as a matter of fact, a criminal.”

“ . . . the real villains in this tale of mass murder and massive corruption are the “good’ people who knowingly facilitated the bad brothers [Billy and Whitey]”

“ . . .  guilty were the cowards who appointed Billy Bulger president of UMass instead of indicting him for extortion and taking bribes . . . . “

There’s more but you get the idea. Anyway, to get a better sense of the bitterness you just have to know that Boston Magazine rated the Bulger/Dershowitz feud the number one feud in Boston over the last four centuries.  The drawing on this page is from that article.

Dershowitz may be falsely accused but it’s hard to feel bad for him.




15 thoughts on “Alan Dershowitz’s Lament:

  1. Bob, remember that it is the Legislature, by majority vote after complex prolonged negotiations among legislators, that votes on a budget which includes the budget for the Housing Court. It is not a crime for the Legislature to give any agency 10% more nor 10% less in it’s budget. There was a dispute between Housing Court Judge Thayer and Senate President Bulger. Thayer descended to personal invectives and was forced by the judiciary to formally apologize to Mr. Bulger. I don’t recall any charges of “extortion.” Sometimes when an agency head makes a spectacle, creates a controversy, publicly ridicules a respected Congressional leader, Congress cuts that agency’s budget. That’s politics. It’s not a crime. 2. I may misremember, but I recall that the Senate President said he did not personally lobby to have the Housing Department’s budget cut. For me, the controversy, “a tempest in a teapot”, ended with Judge Thayer’s apology and recantation. 3. Howard Carr perpetuates personal invectives, verbal vendettas against many good people.

    1. Sorry, William, but your explanation does not jibe with Senator Bulger’s blanket denial. He didn’t say that he retaliated against the Housing Court but that it was legal to do so. He denied that any retaliation took place at all. Likewise, he didn’t claim that he, personally, did not implement the retaliation (leaving open the possibility that his staff did it on his behalf). He claimed that he did not retaliate, directly or indirectly.
      The trouble is, nobody, not even his most fervent supporters believes that version of events. Even you assume that the retaliation took place.
      Clearly, Senator Bulger’s blanket denial is untrue. I think anyone who reads it and is familiar with what happened will come to that conclusion.
      By the way, it was Judge Daher, not Thayer.

  2. It will be interesting to see if Dershowitz’s denial falls apart as quickly as Senator Bulger’s did in the Housing Court extortion.

    1. Bob:

      I’m not sure it will – he’s way out there on this. I guess much will depend on the young lady’s diary if she kept one relative to him. Alan’s highly connected so it took a lot of guts by the Florida attorneys to sue him. As for the Housing Court affair there is still the idea of “what is the meaning of is” as Billy Clinton would say.

  3. Professor Torture’s denials sound as believable as Clinton’s did during the Lewinsky affair. Hitchens described Clinton’s treatment of women as hateful. His denials were bogus. Will his very credible client Epstein come to his defense? How will presidential aspirants Romney and Huckabee respond to the jam their pal is in? Will they defend his innocence or distance themselves? Is it good politics to have an advisor who may be part of an underage sex ring? Remember OJ. said he was 110% not guilty. Torture hasn’t even been that emphatic. 2. OJ, Whitey and Wolfe are going to opine in the WSJ that they believe his story.

    1. NC:

      The diary will tell the story. The bigger story is all the sleaze bag lawyers who flocked to defend the Sleazebag Jeffrey Epstein. What is it with them when they have all the money in the world and still are willing to be bought by the worse of people. Even bigger is the collapse of the federal prosecutors who gave Epstein a secret bargain that included no charges against his friends. Sound a little familiar to the Whshak deals with his gangsters. Romney wants Epstein’s money so he can combine it with Sheldon’s – both guys are buying American lives to protect Israel by giving Benjamin Netanyahu a present of an attack on Iran. Huckleberry Finn will wade in other waters taking the professor’s advice while keeping him in the back room. The lawyers in Florida must be pretty confident suing Dershowitz for defamation. He’s not happy about that so he gets the right to squeal in the WSJ. From OJ’s 110% you subtract 100% because he’s a 100% fabricator which leaves 10% which as you know to be acquitted you have to have 12% since reasonable doubt is defined as more than 87.26534298%.

      2. I just read the Wolf gave Raymond Patriarca Jr. only 8 years in prison as the head of the Mafia involved in a couple of murders, the same amount of time given to Catherine Greig so they will support Dershowitz. He’ll try to move all the cases to the Boston area where the judges love him. OJ will believe anyone who will help him out of prison; he’s not too happy now. As for Whitey, he’s keeping his peace.

  4. Noblesse Obligè …. Nobility Obliges …. The most satisfying experience you can give to yourself when you have been wronged by someone is to be gracious in your appraisal of their well documented litany of sins when they find Fortune has inveigled them into the obloquy they had historically shoveled upon you. This smirking delight in Dershowitz’s ironic position in regards to calumnies indefensible is fun. It reinforces libels however that should never have been taken seriously to begin with. Billy Bulger does not have to go anywhere to get his reputation back because Alan Dershowitz never really had the poer to murder it. Unless you stipulate to it !!! Whether it is the rambunctious Howie Carr or the somewhat dyspeptic Alan Dershowitz, the most effective strategy is acknowledging that everyone has a right to their opinion. The weight and value of what they say, for good or ill, is in inverse proportion to how you … CHOOSE .. to react to it. Therein lies real Power.

  5. I agree 100%. How about Jusge Wolf deciding, solely on the basis of Steve Flemmi’s claim and against Paul Rico’s sworn denial that Rico aided & abetted Flemmi’s flight from justice in the bombing case? This after concluding that Flemmi had lied about many other things during the peoceedings. Rico had no recourse either and this bogus “finding” had real consequences beyond harming Rico’s reputation.

    1. Chris:

      It’s so bad that Salemme and Flemmi both told different stories of getting the tip; I believe Salemme had them meeting with Rico over at Revere Beach to get the tip. Rico was with another agent who stood off to the side. I guess they didn’t have telephones back then. Or perhaps Wolf thought that was the case.

      1. Not only did Salemme tell a very different story, it turns out that Rico was instrumental in getting Flemmi charged in the bombing in the first place. Wolf wrote that he took Flemmi’s word for this because of that completely bogus Rhode Island Supreme Court decision trashing Rico–we deconstruct that also in our book.

        This is how Paul Rico became . . . a P O O F, to use your term.

        1. Chris:

          The RI case was strange – Kelly recants his testimony in his first case about something that was relatively minor and the stone killer gets a new trial and and Rico is deemed a liar; then we have the Connolly case where Salemme recants substantially all of his testimony and Connolly gets no relief. It seems in New England one got more consideration as a member of the Mafia than guys who worked the other side of the aisle.

    2. Chris and Matt: remember, too, that Judge Wolfe decided John Connolly was leaking information because Steve Flemmi said the opposite, that Morris was the source of the leaks. Imagine this scenario: The Father asks the son, “Who gave you that stolen apple?” The son answers, “Joe did.” The Father concludes: “Because you said “Joe did’, I knew you meant Jim.” With no other evidence before him, the Father trusted his instincts and suspicions; he never liked Jim anyway; plus he read Black Mass, and there was a very bad boy named Jim in that book. This scenario reflects Judge Wolfe’s “reasoning.” Judge Wolfe had the omniscience to distinguish the lies and truths spoken by untruthful men, career criminals; Wolfe had the uncanny power to look deep inside their deceptive, devious minds (minds mangled by a lifetime of criminality and minds further muddled, muddied and manipulated by defense attorneys and federal prosecutors) and figure out what these deceitful men really meant to say if they happened to be truthful men. Based on the gangsters’ testimonies, Wolfe smeared the reputations of about a dozen honest FBI agents in his 600 page decision. Wyshak, the federal prosecutor, permitted Mafia defense counsel to trash the cops and did nothing to rehabilitate their good names. Of course, as you’ve pointed out, it was Wyshak who formed the posse (deputizing five state cops) to go after the FBI in the first place. (I wondered if these were the five I saw in the Miami courthouse in December 2008, still working for Wyshak in 2008?) Wyshak and Wolfe (W&W) also turned the tables in the Moakley Federal Courthouse by allowing the Mafia lawyers to put the Federal Government on trial, while at the same time Wyshak’s federal prosecutorial team had convened a grand jury to indict FBI agents. Sadly, it was only John Connolly who got indicted on a slew of lies. So, it was a triple play: (1) Wolfe picked some lies of Salemme, Flemmi etc to believe, and some truths to disbelieve (2) Wyshak stood by at attention and let the mud fly (3) Wyshak’s team sought indictments in another courtroom, embellishing Wolfe’s thinking from his 600 page decision on a simple motion for summary judgment ( the longest written decision on a simple motion in human history). (4) It was a quadruple play: Wolfe relied on Rhode Island’s erroneous decisions. Conclusion: Americans once upon a time trusted judges, prosecutors and appellate courts to be fair. Now we don’t. Big Conclusion: We need a revolution in thinking: First step: Fed prosecutors must be taught ethics: to be fair, honest, to do justice, not to increase winning percentages, not to pick on people, not to abuse power, not to be Javier or Thomas Cromwell; Second step: federal judges must understand they are not philosopher-kings, not prosecutors, not politicians, not social scientists, not society’s moral arbiters; their role is simple; apply the law to the facts; they are not legislators. Federal Judges like Wolfe, Tauro and Young are good judges who have sometimes erred egregiously. Even the best surgeons sometimes make errors in judgment: The best judges are fallible human beings, government workers, who make mistakes and sometimes get caught up in a whirlwind, a zeitgeist. Final Conclusion: Allow me to connect everything back to Matt’s columns’ about that Harvard Divinity professor, a former lawyer, who throws stones at the talented, successful practicing Catholic from a blue collar background, Mark Wahlberg, It comes down to this. You, Harvard professors, federal judges, federal prosecutors, federal workers, Harvard affiliated personnel, are not better than us, are not holier, wiser, tougher nor better hockey players. So, get off your high horses, stop pretending you know something we don’t; stop demeaning, stop persecuting, stop inventing crimes and twisting laws to prosecute innocent people, stop smearing reputations, stop hitting the bookie’s wife, an M.I.T. nurse, with 140 counts then sending her to one year in prison while the Congressman’s wife gets a slap on the wrist and 30 days. In other words, get real, get down to earth and get Sidney Campbell’s “Licensed to Lie”; she estimates 20 to 25% of federal prosecutions are “corrupt.” See her on youtube.

  6. I agree, and as you suggested, the defamation lawsuit should give Dershowitz the opportunity to fully establish his innocence. He’s quoted as saying he’s “thrilled” to be sued. We’ll see …

    1. Dan:

      It may come down to whether the woman has a diary; she has one on Prince Andrew which makes him look like a liar. I’d have to guess that the lawyers who brought the defamation suit have some good stuff to back it up. It should be interesting. There’s one thing that all are after which is Jeffrey Epstein’s billions; maybe it will all go away when he secretly pays everyone off.

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